This film is part of Free

No Mischief Here Can Satan Find for Idle Hands to Do

Pathe's series on WWI turns its eye homeward in this edition about the interning of enemy aliens

1917 1 mins Silent


Pathe turns its eye homeward in this edition of its History of the War series which looks at the internment of "enemy aliens" in Dorset and Surrey. It's not clear if the camp depicted is Frimley in Surrey or Dorchester in Dorset, but the imposing brick walls of the barracks are guarded by kilted soldiers and peppered with anti-German graffiti. The camera then turns on the internees, many of whom wear sailor's uniforms, standing behind a barbed wire perimeter fence as British officers sort and issue linen to the men.

War Officer statistics from 1920 suggest that by November 1917 there were 79,326 enemy aliens interned in Britain. Among that number were 49,815 military personnel and 29,511 civilians.